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A higher standard for police

Melvin B. Miller

Veterans Day was a national holiday on Nov. 11, a date that was established by the armistice that ended World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. It was originally called Armistice Day for that reason, but as the suffering from that conflict faded into history, the date, Nov. 11, was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

The purpose of the holiday now is to honor those who served honorably in the military. There was a universal military draft in 1954 of young men who were not afflicted with a bone spur. The holiday was in recognition of those who completed their term of service and were honorably discharged.

With the nature of warfare becoming more frequently an urban conflict, it seems that it might be fiscally efficient for competent soldiers to morph into metropolitan police officers. The army has developed a code of conduct that seems to be more stringent than the requirements for the discipline of urban police officers.

A story in the New York Times reports that the district attorney in Brooklyn, New York has blacklisted seven police officers whose work is so flawed and so lacking credibility that their testimony is precluded from criminal cases. The story indicates that this is a common practice, but the names of the offending police officers are usually not publicized.

This problem must be resolved if the U.S. is to repair its criminal justice system. Veterans Day suggests the idea that military training might serve as a prep school for the civilian police.

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